“Bombs are more precious than children”; “martyrdom is better than peace”; “it is a Muslim’s duty to kill Jews”: these are the messages Palestinian children get from all directions, including their schools, camps, TV shows, music videos, magazines, and political leaders – some even from their own parents.
Children in both the West Bank and Gaza are flooded from the earliest age with messages glorifying death and murder. Babies are dressed up as suicide bombers; toddlers are given machine guns; pre-teens are sent to terrorist camps; and teens are sent on real suicide attacks. Children who have died as “martyrs” are glorified as role models, and are considered the “greatest message” Palestinians can send to the world.
Perhaps most unthinkable is the reality that some Palestinian mothers rejoice over the deaths of their own children. One Gazan woman has been widely praised – even elected – for sending three of her nine children on suicide attacks, and encouraging the rest to follow in their footsteps.
“We can forgive you for killing our sons. But we will never forgive you for making us kill yours.”
- Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir to Egyptian President Anwar Saddat, 1978